Catalyst Academy

Cornell University


Ithaca, NY


Jul 16 - Jul 22




CATALYST Scholars spend one week on the Cornell campus, living in dormitories, and networking with current Cornell Engineering students, faculty, and a diverse group of participants from across the country. Participants attend daily classes in one area of study led by a Cornell Engineering faculty member, and work cooperatively under the supervision of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students to execute and present a research project. Additionally, students participate in ten field sessions across our engineering majors, as well as one field session focused on the admissions process. The Academy seeks primarily to develop literacy surrounding engineering as a major course of study in college, showcase career and graduate school pathways in engineering, and demystify the admissions process.

CATALYST Academy has a particular focus on bringing together a diverse group of young minds, including those from backgrounds historically excluded from and underrepresented in STEM fields. Therefore, we strongly encourage students whose backgrounds and lived experiences are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields (individuals who identify as Black, Hispanic, American Indian/Indigenous, female, neurodivergent, and/or living with a disability), as well as those who may not have access to robust, STEM-related curricular resources, to apply for CATALYST.

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What people are saying

Two CSAEA Students Will Attend Cornell Summer Camps

Miles and other students accepted to Cornell’s CATALYST Academy will work in small, collaborative groups under guidance from faculty members, graduate students and undergraduate students. In addition to learning about engineering fields and curricula, current trends and research, the high school students will participate in interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities, and friendly engineering-based competitions...

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$2M gift to grow CATALYST Academy for minority students

“CATALYST Academy is a success story in the College of Engineering,” said Lynden Archer, the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering. “Peter’s generous support will allow us to reach a more economically diverse population of underserved students and will serve not just Cornell, but a nation in need of well-educated, able scientists and engineers from all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.”

High School Class of 2014

It’s just a week long, but I assure you it’ll be an awesome week…You also have fun at CURIE/CATALYST too though. We went bowling, rock climbing, and we did a scavenger hunt…Now, it DOES cost a lot of money for a week (I think almost 2,000 dollars), BUT they offer really good financial aid for the programs; I know this because I’m one of the people who got financial aid, so if you know your family can’t afford a summer program with such a high cost, don’t worry, Cornell will offer financial aid…

Cornell CATALYST Academy Review

The big “research project” we had was a slideshow condensing the information we learned about a certain topic of civil engineering. The presentations repeated themselves so much! The biggest complaint from the program assistants and the participants was that we did not do enough hands-on projects. I expect the program to change next year because of it...Aside from not having a lot of projects, the social aspect of the program was amazing. The majority of program assistants (PA’s) were grad or PhD students. It was so much fun to interact with top engineering students. Also, we had personalized lessons from Cornell professors!! They always gave us their emails and encouraged us to contact them if we had more questions.

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